CNBC's Jim Cramer says the onslaught of earnings reports this week has brought Wall Street to the point of "maximum disorientation" and reminds investors how to balance the workload. The "Mad Money" host gives a read on railroad company CSX coming off its latest quarterly report in an interview with CEO Jim Foote. He chats with ServiceNow CEO John Donahoe, who is departing the company next year for Nike, to find out how the global economy is affecting business spending on digital transformation.
CNBC's on Wednesday said earnings season has reached the point of "maximum disorientation."
Wall Street is flooded with more quarterly reports than investors can keep track of and the action makes little if no sense at all, the "Mad Money" host said, highlighting a peculiar 1.2% rise in Caterpillar shares and 5.2% slide in those of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
"Caterpillar disappoints and roars higher, Chipotle knocks it out of the park and gets hammered, but it all makes sense when you consider the expectations coming into the quarter," he explained. "No, the market hasn't lost its mind, there's just more going on than you may be aware of."
CSX Corp. has labored over more than two years to transform its operations and the changes are starting to show in its results, CEO Jim Foote told CNBC.
The railroad company installed a precision scheduled railroading strategy in its supply chains to increase efficiency, he said in a sitdown with Cramer.
The updated system eliminated unnecessary logistics, such as switching boxcars at inopportune times, he added.
"The end result of that is that we provide a much, much more reliable product, but we're also able to pivot much better, too," Foote explained. "The railroad business is the railroad business, [and it] changes all the time. ... We're able to move in any direction we need to in any given time much better."
Medical device companies have delivered their shareholders some good numbers this earnings season and their fundamentals are in good shape, Cramer said.
He highlighted the quarterly report that Intuitive Surgical, the company that markets the Da Vinci robotic assisted surgery platform for minimally invasive procedures, released last Thursday and its cuts to operating expense forecast. Most of Intuitive Surgical's worries, including cost increases and new competition, are now behind the business, he continued.
The market appears eager to embrace the medical device cohort, he said.
ServiceNow CEO John Donahoe told CNBC that the company is not seeing a decline in customer interest in digitization.
The outgoing chief, who is departing the software-as-a-service firm to become Nike CEO in January, said he completed a business trip in Europe where he discovered that enterprises aren't letting macroeconomic headwinds get in the way of investing in automating their operations.
"They aren't focusing on macroeconomics. They aren't focusing on Brexit," he said in an interview with Cramer. "They're focusing on how can they deliver better experiences to their customers, better experiences for their employees and drive real productivity growth and service now is one of their core platforms that enable all three."
Chipmaker stocks fell a day after Texas Instruments printed a revenue number Tuesday afternoon that was short of Wall Street expectations for the third quarter. The manufacturer also gave weak fourth-quarter guidance, and shares sank more than 7% in Wednesday's session.
Shares of Micron and Advanced Micro Devices both took a hit in after-hour trading on Texas Instrument's quarterly report. AMD slipped nearly 0.5% in Wednesday trading and Micron was flat at the close.
Cramer, however, negated the idea that all semiconductor companies are equal and should trade together. He went on to say that some are more equal than others and the winners are the ones with less industrial exposure in the face of global downturn.
TI has diversified beyond the slowing cellphone segment into cyclical businesses, he said.
Don't run from AMD or Nvidia if Texas Instruments says business is weakening across the board — they don't have the same customers, Cramer said. Business is fine in the less-cyclical semiconductors.
In Cramer's lightning round, the "Mad Money" host zips through his thoughts about callers' favorite stocks picks of the day.
: "Stock's been under heavy pressure. I think that actually it's pretty close to wanting to call a bottom. The shorts are pressing it down. I think it's good. I would buy half here and then let it come down, though, because boy there's a lot of pressure on it."
Lockheed Martin: "No, no. We're not going to fool around with Lockheed Martin when we just had that unbelievable quarter by United Technologies, which just merged with Raytheon, which is also going to have a good quarter and that's they way we're going to play.
Wisconsin Energy Group: "I like Wisconsin Energy more than I liked the University of Wisconsin that I saw this weekend. Frankly, I was a little disappointed in one but I like the other and I'm buying the utility and I think that's what you stay long."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Caterpillar and Nvidia.